This week at The Nation and TheNation.com, Contributing Writers Mark Ames and Mike Elk report that in the wake of Citizens United, on the eve of last November’s midterm election, Koch Industries sent an election mailer to its 50,000 employees advising them on whom to vote for and warning them about the dire consequences should they choose to vote otherwise.
Obtained exclusively by The Nation, the contents of the packet include a cover letter by President and COO Dave Robertson, a list of Koch-endorsed state and federal candidates, as well as a copy of their newsletter, Discovery. The newsletter offers a complete economic reinterpretation of history, alleging, among other things, that America experienced its most prosperous era in the 1920’s under President Coolidge and Harding. Also included is an editorial from the Washington Examiner titled, “What if all business were as dedicated to free markets as the Kochs.”
“Big Brothers: Thought Control at Koch,” is a clear look at an entirely new campaign of political education, indoctrination and intimidation at the workplace in a post-Citizens United era. Sources interviewed for the piece at Koch subsidiaries in Oregon and Washington claim that the company “encourages” them to read highly ideological literature and attend “special” seminars. Time cards are stamped with the “10 Guiding Principles of Koch Industries.”
Joining Democracy Now! this week, Ames and Elk explain tdhat by sending out the packet, Koch Inustries are politicizing the workplace and creating potential for political discrimination in employment. As The Nation noted earlier this year in the days after the case was decided, "[Citizens United] tips the balance…by making it possible for the nation’s most powerful economic interests to manipulate not just individual politicians and electoral contests but political discourse itself."
Also this week…
COMMEMORATING EARTH DAY
This year, Earth Day conveniently falls between two anniversaries: Wednesday was the one-year anniversary of the tragic Deepwater Horizon drilling accident which killed eleven workers and flooded the Gulf of Mexico with over 200 million tons of oil. And Monday is the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power plant explosion, which precipitated one of the worst nuclear disasters in history. Friday is an important moment for us to stop and reflect on the untold damage done to our natural environment by our insatiable appetite for energy, and how we, as global citizens, can help to mitigate our continued detrimental impact on our one-and-only habitat: The Earth.